Post on 07-Apr-2018




0 download

Embed Size (px)


<ul><li><p>8/6/2019 OEDIPUS REX AS A TRAGIC HERO</p><p> 1/2</p><p>OEDIPUS REX AS A TRAGIC HERO:</p><p>Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles, is the tale of a tragic hero, as defined by Aristotle. This book is the story</p><p>of a king who learns that he has done a terrible deed through his own folly. He is consequently</p><p>punished. This classic story teaches the lesson that pride and other sins come before a fall.</p><p>LARGER THAN LIFE (A KING NOT AN ORDINARY MAN):</p><p>The first part of the definition of a tragic hero states that the character, usually the protagonist, must</p><p>be of a noble birth and also must be virtuous and noble of character. Oedipus is all of these things; he</p><p>is a king, and a king's son. All of his people come to him when they are in a time of trouble, showing</p><p>that they trust him to treat them with virtuousness and nobility.</p><p>NEITHER VIRTUOUS NOR VICIOUS:</p><p>The second part of the definition states that the character is not perfect; he or she is like any other</p><p>normal person, except for being of noble birth. Oedipus shows this well, even though he is a king. He</p><p>is quick to show anger and very slow to forgive his friends and family, as shown through the way he</p><p>treated Creon. He can also be cruel, as when he spoke and acted to the shepherd. This is shown</p><p>through Oedipus' words on page sixty: "Come here, one of you; bind his arms behind him...you will</p><p>die now unless you speak the truth."</p><p>HAMARTIA:</p><p>The downfall of the protagonist is partially their own fault, and comes about because of their own</p><p>character flaws. Oedipus' character flaw, or hamartia, was hubris, or arrogant pride. Oedipus himself</p><p>reveals his hamartia when he tells the story of the day that he killed Laius. Oedipus was walking</p><p>along a road, and when Laius' chariot came by, Oedipus was forced off to the side. His pride was so</p><p>hurt that he killed Laius and his party. In this way Oedipus killed his own father, as it was</p><p>prophesied.</p><p>PERIPETEIA (REVERSAL OF HEROS FORTUNE):</p><p>The character's flaw causes their downfall; there is a reversal of fortune. Before Oedipus realized that</p><p>he himself had killed his father, he had sworn that whoever had killed the king would be exiled from</p><p>Thebes and followed by misery all of their days. Now, because of his own arrogance and pride, these</p><p>things will happen to Oedipus.</p></li><li><p>8/6/2019 OEDIPUS REX AS A TRAGIC HERO</p><p> 2/2</p><p>ANAGNORSIS:</p><p>(DISCOVERY OF TRUTH/REALIZATION OF HERO ABOUT HIS BAD DEEDS AND</p><p>SINS):</p><p>The fifth part of the definition states that the character realizes that they brought about their own</p><p>downfall. Oedipus intensely realizes this, and is filled with dismay and horror. He finally realizes that</p><p>Laius is his true father, and that he killed him in a moment of hurt pride. He also realizes that his</p><p>wife is his mother, and blinds himself because he can no longer bear to look at his children. Finally,</p><p>Oedipus recognizes that he had earlier stated that whoever had killed Laius would be punished, and</p><p>this would now happen to him.</p><p>CONCLUSION:</p><p>Oedipus the King fits the definition of a tragic hero. He is not perfect, and has some flaws, just likeanybody else. Through his own arrogance and pride, he makes an error, and consequently he is</p><p>destroyed. In the end, he realizes that this destruction of his life is his own fault. He sees that</p><p>character flaws are the harbingers of downfall.</p></li></ul>